Monday, June 9, 2008

Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge Walk Report

Two Blue Grosbeak males aggressively chasing each other all around the parking lot at TNC's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (a.k.a. the Cape May Meadows) were a surprise this morning, since the species was not present there yesterday, nor at last week's CMBO Monday Meadows walk. Also at the parking lot was a very cooperative Indigo Bunting male, and the immature male Orchard Oriole that's been there most of the spring was present on our return to the lot, singing away, although he was not singing when we started. At least one Willow Flycatcher continues in the meadows, near the dune end of the west path.

The Mute Swan cygnet continues - I learned it was seen on the back of its parent last Friday night during CMBO's Sunset Birding walk. Multiple male Gadwall continue to chase females around, two Piping Plover nests have hatched off the meadows, at least 6 American Oystercatchers are present at the meadows, mostly on the beach, and a first summer Lesser Black-backed Gull stood with many of it's larger cousins on the beach as well. A single Sanderling was on the beach. An adult Cooper's Hawk with prey flew towards the State Park at the start of the walk. One Greater Yellowlegs flushed from near the east path. We looked in vain for Wilson's Storm-petrels and other pelagics offshore, but the tide was low and slack and the ocean calm, not exactly the best conditions for sea watching. Two Green Herons treated part of the group with a flyby view, and a universal favorite was the flyover Tri-colored Heron.

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